Writer’s Workshop: A to Z to Me

When I started blogging back in January 2012, I was under the notion that I would be a great novelist, and talked about all the great writing I was going to do… and somehow never got around to doing, because I was spending most of my days reading other blogs, listening to music and playing solitaire while fantasizing about writing the Great American Novel.

Yeah, I was one of those guys, all talk, no action. And I wondered why, and came up with the reason: I didn’t want to write fiction. For that matter, I barely wanted to read fiction. Seriously, I would buy books or get them out of the library, read a little bit, put the book aside and not get back to it. Mary and I have a joint Kindle library of about 6000 books, most of which are books Mary has read. Of those 6000 books, about 500 are books I bought with the intention of reading and either never started or never finished.

Seemed the only writing I was doing was for my blog. I got involved in several blog hops and looked forward to writing on those days. One of the first blog hops I was involved in was the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, which was my big impetus for getting into blogging. My first year I took the NATO spelling alphabet (alpha, bravo, Charlie, delta etc.) and used the words associated with each letter as my daily prompts. It was a fun exercise, and I found the challenge of figuring out what to talk about for each word exhiliarating. (How’s that for a $20 word?)

Many times, I’d start with the word and head off in a completely different direction. On S day, when the word was "sierra," I discovered there was a short-lived TV program called Sierra, produced by Jack Webb, who also produced Dragnet, Adam-12, Emergency!, and other shows. So I ended up writing about him. On V day, when the word was "victor," I thought of the movie Victor/Victoria, which was directed by Blake Edwards with music by Henry Mancini, who had worked together on a couple of hundred projects, so I wrote about them.

Talking about Mancini, and Dean Martin (the word for J was "Juliet," and that day I wrote about Juliet Prowse, who had been on Dean’s show a lot in the ’60’s and ’70’s), and Les Paul (who designed the echo chambers at Capitol Records) helped to point me in the direction of writing about music. Writing about Webb, Martin, and Mike Wallace (M’s word is "Mike") reminded me of my fascination with television, which I started writing about. Many of the stories I wrote for the A to Z Challenge that first year were stories about the world when I was growing up and funny things that happened to me on the road.

Those were the directions I took my blog in, and when I started daily blogging (July 1, 2014, and I haven’t missed a day since), those were the things I wrote about, and write about today. And I have no intention of stopping.

18 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: A to Z to Me

  1. Everyday since 2014! That’s impressive! I’ve never tried the A to Z challenge, but I think it would definitely help give some directions when you’re out of ideas.


  2. Nice backstory! Everyday since 2014 certainly takes discipline.
    I’ve read a lot of well-written blogs and started to read several poorly written novels. I’m glad blogging is a thing.


  3. Every day since 2014?! Go you! I hope to one day have that kinda record! I believe this is the start of my 5th blog for various reasons, and I am just owning it by announcing from the start that it may not last longer than a single blog or two. Time will tell. I admire your persistence over the years! Keep up the awesome work!


  4. I can relate even though I never had the urge to write a novel. I am not one to read books, however, I have a few in my Kindle that I’ve read. Furthermore, I don’t enjoy reading pages and pages of anything and I also don’t care to read long posts. Forty years in the insurance industry and reading insurance terms and coverage forms were enough for me, plus my eyes get tired. I have Night Eye installed on my computer, and read everything with a dark screen.

    Blogging is fun to me, because I can be creative, and I have no intentions of giving it up. Plus, I enjoy the WP family and the camaraderie.


    1. There are a few novelists who can hold my interest, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. I read a lot while I was in the hospital, simply because there was nothing else to do (well, watch TV, but how much of that can you do?). Mary would come and visit and we’d sit and read. Having her there was a real comfort. If I had to pick one thing I like, it would be newspaper columns, which are kind of like blog posts. In fact, given the state of the newspaper business, that’s probably what they’ll evolve into…

      I know what you’re saying about the blogging community. I look foward to reading what others have coe up with…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes the best of intentions get sidetracked which can be a good thing just like in your case. You were meant to blog


    1. I did NaNoWriMo several times, winning each time, then deleting what I had written because it was 50,000 words of unreadable crap that had no chance of being hammered into something anyone in their right mind would want to read. Blogging fits my personality better.


  6. Good to read your A to Z journey, John.

    It’s my third and I started in 2015 (and 2016)an blog everyday. First one was taken actually as a challenge if I can blog everyday. Second was born from the experience and excitement of the 1st challenge.

    Value to the readers and money from blogging is on my mind always. I had to choose a theme that serves at least one. The results turned into my amazon books :)

    Here I am again after 5 years :)

    I joined late but finally catching up with everyone.

    My theme is “A to Z of best blogging tips from my 13 years of blogging journey”.

    Am sure it will be useful for everyone as I have included

    Guides in every post to make your blog popular and profitable
    What you can do today hint in every post
    Make one change happen at a time
    Offering help to your blogging journey

    Writing and posting 7 posts in 2 days wasn’t easy but certainly a thrill.

    You can find all the blogging tips posts for A to Z Challenge here

    Looking forward to receive love (and any questions) from fellow bloggers. Happy to help anyone.



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